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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 37, Number 3, May10 2024 , pages 213-222

The effect of in-situ stress parameters and metamorphism on the geomechanical and mineralogical behavior of tunnel rocks
Kadir Karaman

    Determination of jointed rock mass properties plays a significant role in the design and construction of underground structures such as tunneling and mining. Rock mass classification systems such as Rock Mass Rating (RMR), Rock Mass Index (RMi), Rock Mass Quality (Q), and deformation modulus (Em) are determined from the jointed rock masses. However, parameters of jointed rock masses can be affected by the tunnel depth below the surface due to the effect of the in situ stresses. In addition, the geomechanical properties of rocks change due to the effect of metamorphism. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to apply correlation analysis to investigate the relationships between rock mass properties and some parameters related to the depth of the tunnel studied. For this purpose, the field work consisted of determining rock mass parameters in a tunnel alignment (~7.1 km) at varying depths from 21 m to 431 m below ground surface. At the same excavation depths, thirty-seven rock types were also sampled and tested in the laboratory. Correlations were made between vertical stress and depth, horizontal/vertical stress ratio (k) and depth, k and Em, k and RMi, k and point load index (PLI), k and Brazilian tensile strength (BTS), Em and uniaxial compressive strength (UCS), UCS and PLI, UCS and BTS. Relationships were significant (significance level=0.000) at the confidence interval of 95% (r = 0.77-0.88) between the data pairs for the rocks taken from depths greater than 166 m where the ratio of horizontal to vertical stress is between 0.6 and 1.2. The in-situ stress parameters affected rock mass properties as well as metamorphism which affected the geomechanical properties of rock materials by affecting the behavior of minerals and textures within rocks. This study revealed that in-situ stress parameters and metamorphism should be reviewed when tunnel studies are carried out.
Key Words
    contact metamorphism; depth effect; in-situ stress parameters
Kadir Karaman: Department of Mining Eng., Karadeniz Technical University, 61080 Trabzon, Turkey

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